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JCPS Diagnostic Tests Show Many Students Have Difficulty With Grade-Level Materials | In depth

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Less than half of Jefferson County public school students in most schools have been tested at the grade level in the math and language arts diagnostic tests administered this fall, according to data obtained by WDRB News.

The results, provided by JCPS in response to a request for open cases, give the district a first glimpse of where current students are in their learning after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the previous two school years.

The 2021-22 school year is the first time that JCPS students have been in classrooms on traditional schedules since March 2020, when Kentucky school districts stopped learning in person for the last few months of the year. 2019-2020 school year at the request of the Andy Beshear government at the start of the pandemic.

JCPS classrooms remained closed until March and April, when many students returned for in-person instruction two days a week on hybrid schedules towards the end of the 2020-21 school year. Students with disabilities in Kindergarten to Grade 5 returned to class four days a week as part of the plan to reopen the district at the time.

The results are “exactly” what Carmen Coleman, research director of JCPS expected. NWEA, the nonprofit group that provides the diagnostic tests called Measures of Academic Progress, conducted a study in the spring that showed declining reading and math scores among students.

The district’s MAP scores “reflect” the results of that study, she said.

“The math seemed to be suffering the most, so I really anticipated the same outcome, and of course that’s what we’re seeing across the country,” Coleman said in an interview on Friday. “… Of course, the picture he paints is gloomy, but I have a lot of hope and I have a lot of confidence in our students and our teachers. “

The MAP test results for JCPS show:

  • Less than half of kindergarten students in 52 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of kindergarten students in 50 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of first graders at 71 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of first graders in 67 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of second-graders at 76 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of second-graders in 75 of the 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of third-graders at 63 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of third-graders in 75 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of fourth-graders at 62 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of fourth graders in 79 of 91 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of fifth-graders at 68 of 93 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of fifth graders in 80 of the 93 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of sixth-graders at 21 of the 30 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of sixth-graders at 27 of the 30 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of seventh graders in 18 of the 31 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of seventh graders from 26 of the 31 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of eighth graders in 20 of the 32 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of eighth graders from 26 of the 31 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of freshmen in 19 of the 28 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of freshmen at 23 of the 28 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of sophomores in 15 of 23 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of sophomores in 19 of the 24 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than half of the juniors at eight of the nine JCPS schools were tested at grade level in language arts.
  • Less than half of the juniors at 13 of the 14 JCPS schools were tested at grade level in mathematics.
  • Less than a third of seniors at four JCPS schools were tested at school level in language arts.
  • Up to a quarter of seniors at four JCPS schools have been tested at grade level in mathematics. Three of the JCPS schools that reported MAP test results for seniors – Newcomer Academy, Phoenix School of Discovery, and Georgia Chaffee Teenage Parent Program – are specialty programs while the other, Liberty High, is an alternative school.

JCPS did not include grade level results when less than 10 students in each grade were tested, citing student confidentiality.

Several schools did not see any students taking grade-level tests or posting single-digit rates in the latest round of MAP tests.

These schools often cater for some of the most disadvantaged children in the district.

Frayser Elementary, for example, did not have students tested at grade level in math in grades three and four and language arts in grade four. About 91% of students at Frayser Elementary School qualify for free or discounted school meals, according to district enrollment data.

Newcomer Academy – which welcomes students learning English as a second language, many of whom have never enrolled in US schools or experienced learning interruptions in their home countries – had no students tested at school level math in grades six, seven, ninth, and eleventh, and language arts in grades seven, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, and 12th, in another example.

Coleman expects MAP scores to improve as the school year progresses and students continue to learn in the classroom. MAP assessments will be administered again from November 22 to December 17 and from March 21, 2022 to April 22, 2022.

If the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t disrupted learning at JCPS, Coleman believes the district “would have made a lot more progress on the achievement gaps and student acceleration.”

“It’s disheartening for everyone, but I also think we’re going to have incredible growth,” Coleman said in response to the low grade scores posted at some schools. “… The kids are really resilient, and I think our teachers are going out of their way and more, and so I think we’re going to see some really exciting growth this Christmas.” “

The MAP tests were administered between August 23 and September 17 and provide JCPS with a clearer picture of students’ academic status than the results of last year’s Kentucky Summative Assessment, which showed rates of late participation among Kentucky students compared to previous standardized tests.

The JCPS has fallen behind state-wide participation and proficiency rates in almost every category in Saudi Arabia, according to state testing data.

About 15,000 JCPS students in third, fourth and fifth grades took the KSA tests in reading and math, and about 5,000 fifth-graders took state writing exams, according to attendance data from the State. Some 13,800 JCPS students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades completed the KSA reading and math exams and about 4,400 eighth graders were tested in writing, according to state data.

About 3,800 second-year JCPS students took state assessments in reading and math, while about 2,800 juniors took the KSA writing exam, according to state data.

For comparison, JCPS tested at least 41,298 elementary students, 19,756 high school students and 12,279 high school students in language arts and at least 39,620 elementary students, 19,789 high school students and 13,004 high school students. high school math in the last round of MAP assessments. , according to figures provided by the district.

Superintendent Marty Pollio, among those who lamented the US Department of Education’s decision to require state-standardized testing in the 2020-21 school year after granting broad waivers to states in the year previous, said after the release of the KSA results that MAP scores would provide JCPS with a more “accurate picture” of students’ educational status.

“A lot of our children, we’re going to have to provide intensive support to get back to where they were, but it’s the education crisis,” Pollio said in September, referring to the impact of the COVID-pandemic. 19 on learning.

Coleman agreed, noting that most JCPS students took MAP assessments in August and September.

“MAP is about providing that next educational step, and the state test doesn’t do that for us,” she said. “The children have already moved on. This is not the purpose of state assessment.

JCPS approaches the challenge of helping students who have had academic difficulties in many ways, including looking at remediation in a different way, Coleman said. The district worked with the Council of the Great City Schools and followed the advice of the Kentucky Department of Education, she said.

The district works with teachers to ensure that all students are exposed to grade-level standards while focusing on areas in which they have struggled, exploring extended learning opportunities, and seeking to take advantage federal stimulus funds to provide better support for students, such as hiring retired teachers to help them during class, she said.

“What research shows us time and time again is that we often get so caught up in our efforts to remedy the situation that we forget that they also have to keep moving forward,” Coleman said. “… Despite our best intentions, we spend so much time trying to catch up with them that in reality what is happening is that they are progressing very slowly and falling further and further behind. “

The process to help JCPS students recover academically may take years due to the unprecedented disruption of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the district is implementing “practice-based practices.” research ”for this work, she said.

“I think it’s also important that parents remember that the kids kept learning, and so we do everything we can and try to make really informed decisions in school to make sure they catch up. late, “she said.

MAP Math and Language Arts scores by school and grade can be downloaded here:

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